CASE STUDY: Carphone Warehouse develops fraud protection
The consumer electronics retailer uses ORIS Case Manager in Germany as a best-practice gold standard to prove dishonesty
Measuring and managing that internal fraud and the inevitable personnel issues across Europe requires accurate, consistent and robust processes that identify the dishonesty and recognise and acknowledge territorial and cultural differences.
To help achieve this, the European profit protection team of CPWPLC – the parent company of Carphone Warehouse, which owns a 50% interest in Best Buy Europe Group and a 47% interest in Virgin Mobile France – helped UK loss prevention specialists, The ORIS Group develop ORIS Case Manager, an intuitive web-based fraud and case management software.
Designed to be complementary to any generic data-mining product, ORIS Case Manager is hosted by The ORIS Group. It maps the locations and journeys of retail loss prevention investigations in order to forensically prioritise problem stores and issues before feeding the data back to all levels of the business in a variety of visual formats.
ORIS Case Manager then measures the efficiency of the loss prevention team and their clear-up rates in the field by accurately documenting the cost, not only of the fraud, but also of the investigation itself. It also links directly to the leading civil recovery providers, to reduce manpower time and allow investigators to do their job unfettered by paperwork.
Duplicating UK success
This system worked for Carphone Warehouse in the UK over a number of years, so the next stage was for the programme to factor in specific issues for its European markets, particularly Germany, which has a strong tradition of protecting staff rights through its Worker’s Council – the ultimate tribunal for employee rights that prevents businesses dismissing staff based upon anything other than solid facts.
ORIS Case Manager was recognised by Carphone Warehouse as the vehicle by which the business could provide this required level of transparency and a process that presented consistent evidence to assist the investigation.
Jennie Butzlaff, head of loss prevention for Carphone Warehouse in Germany, says: “ORIS Case Manager is a great way of proving the profitability of the loss prevention team as we do not generate any money for the business. It was introduced as a monitoring tool that measures best practice and compliance in terms of the team’s outputs and outcomes.
“We spoke to The ORIS Group to adapt it for the German market, where it needed to provide the right level of evidence required to satisfy the needs of the Workers Council. It is built to demonstrate genuine evidence and the process of the investigation so that our business is recognised as acting responsibly, transparently and fairly. This has been welcomed by the Council,” she said.
Meeting local regulations
Butzlaff added: “The work with The ORIS Group has gone very well in terms of getting the language and cultural context right in terms of it allowing us to demonstrate hard facts. In Germany you cannot simply dismiss someone based upon soft evidence. Their protection is rightly enshrined in German law. We now have a smaller loss prevention team and ORIS Case Manager has been able to demonstrate to the business the profitability of our outcomes and is now a daily work tool recognised at all levels of the business.”
Andrew Wood, managing director of The ORIS Group, added: “ORIS Case Manager has worked extremely well in the UK, but Germany is one of the European markets that required a more robust approach and hard facts rather than circumstantial evidence or opinion. We had already developed the technology into different languages and to use multiple currencies, but it had to be minutely tailored for German business needs down to the fact that Germany has its own business jargon and even writes Euro’s differently.”
He added: “We spent a considerable amount of time going through the entire programme to provide the level of detail necessary. Jennie knows the loss prevention landscape intimately and has been a fantastic sponsor for ORIS Case Manager inside the business. She guided us through the intricate detail of the requirements of the Workers’ Council. As a result, we have a robust tool that is fit for purpose and demonstrates good industry practice. If you are placed in front of a tribunal over a question of workplace dishonesty the system provides the granular detail and evidence of good practice necessary to prove a case. This is accepted as sufficient and it gives Carphone the gold standard necessary.”